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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

NOTE OF JULY 19, 1942, FROM SOKOLNICKI, CHARGE
D'AFFAIRES OF THE POLISH EMBASSY IN KUYBYSHEV, TO
MR. A. J. VYSHINSKY, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL
OF PEOPLE'S COMMISSARS, ON THE UNILATERAL DECISION
TO CLOSE THE OFFICES OF VARIOUS DELEGATES AND
THE ARREST OF POLISH EMBASSY DELEGATES IN THE
U.S.S.R.
Mr. Chairrmn,
In the course of your conversation with the Polish Ambassador on
July 8, 1942, when you discussed with him the latest actions of the Soviet
authorities with regard to the network of local offices of Embassy Delegates
established in accordance with the corresponding agreements between this
Embassy and the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs, reference was
made to the unilateral decision of the Soviet authorities to close the offices
of the Delegates in Aidan-Yakutsky, Vladivostok, Archangel, and Saratov;
the arrest of Mr. M. Zalenski, 1st Secretary of Embassy, acting Embassy
Delegate in Vladivostok; the arrest of the entire staff of the office of the
Embassy Delegate in Archangel; searches carried out in the offices of the
Embassy Delegates in Vladivostok and Archangel; the violation of the
immunity of the Embassy's archives in the offices of these Delegates ; the
seizure by the local authorities of a number of documents, of money and
of seals belonging to the Embassy, and the closing and sealing of the
Embassy's stores. In the course of this conversation the Polish Ambassador
asked a question, which I now again put to you, that is, do the above actions
of the Soviet authorities denote a change in the policy of the Soviet Govern-
ment as initiated on July 30, 1941, in respect of that portion of the Polish
population, which as a result of well known events found itself forcibly on
the territory of the Soviet Union ? It is the opinion of the Ambassador
that if this action on the part of the Soviet Authorities was aimed at the
destruction of the entire welfare and relief organization for Polish citizens
in the U.S.S.R., created with such difficulty by this Embassy in agreement
with the People's Commissariat, then it would be better to state this clearly
instead of creating a fictitious situation in which one cannot be certain of
the fate either of people or of institutions.
It was to be inferred from your reply, Mr. Chairman, that the Soviet
Government did not propose to change the attitude that it had hitherto
adopted towards Polish citizens in the U.S.S.R. and their relief organization
set up by this Embassy, and that general conclusions should not be drawn
from specific cases based on misunderstandings of local officials or resulting
possibly from criminal actions of individuals.
During the ten days that have passed since the aforementioned conversa-
tion took place, this Embassy has been informed of new facts, which seem
to signify that the organization of Embassy Delegates on the territory of
the U.S.S.R. is actually being closed down; this is accompanied by the
arrest of those members of this Embassy's staff who have been most active
in bringing relief to Polish citizens in their districts, the seizure by the local
authorities of official archives and documents of this Embassy, the blocking
of this Embassy's accounts in branches of the State Bank of the U.S.S.R.,
the closing and sealing by the Soviet authorities of warehouses containing
relief goods from the Allied States addressed to the Embassy of the Republic
of Poland in the U.S.S.R.
Apart from the arrest of Mr. M. Zalenski, 1st Secretary of Embassy,
Mr. Gruja, 2nd Secretary of Embassy and the staff of the Delegate's office
in Archangel, already the subject of separate diplomatic correspondence,
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